Milk Maid (Vermeer)

I have recently renewed my fascination for milk but not necessarily for milkmaids per se.

In point of fact, I have recently become fascinated by the prospect of drinking some goat milk because of my recent discovery of the Ikarian diet. (Greek Island.).

But I am sure an actual milkmaid would flee from my countenance in terror now that I have attained unto a state of personal antiquity befitting the mummies of old.

The painting above is known to have been done by Dutch Painter, Johannes Vermeer and some people believe it was finished sometime around the year 1658.

It is oil on canvas.

Many people believe this painting represents more of a simple ordinary housemaid or kitchen maid more so than a milkmaid as the title implies.

Of course, no one is left alive who can tell us for certain.

Wikipedia.Org offers us a lengthy and detailed description of this piece — ( CLICK HERE).

There is some belief that since these kinds of ladies represented some kind of sexual connotation when painted into art form that this painting may have had its suggestive elements as well.

I sense the tenderness in the face of the subject as she intently pours the liquid from her jug but I also sense a life that was not exactly lived in the lap of luxury because the facial features show a lot of care, concern and perhaps a little hint of sadness as well.

Because I do not see any real sense of tension in the figure represented here — she appears to be relaxed and in control of the situation — I also feel as if she is doing something that she has done for a long time and that she will continue doing for a long time yet to come … pleasing some unseen entity (Be it family or individual) with the fruits of her labors … I could go for a repast of that wonderful bread there on that table myself and I am sure she had something to do with the baking of it.

The painting, while somewhat understated in rendition, is otherwise a powerful statement of the simplicity of life as well as the rigors of servitude and the whole composition speaks calmly of times that will never be again but the kind of times that some of us who are less hurried would dearly love to experience if only for a few minutes.

Pustasis

If there were such a word as “Pustasis” —

Probably_Valentin_de_Boulogne_-_Saint_Paul_Writing_His_Epistles_-_Google_Art_Project

Image Is From Wikimedia (Public Domain)

I am sure I would discover it at the end of my pen.

I do know that it has nothing at all to do with any kind of donut fungus or deep neck abscess or phlegmons but for some reason, I cannot find it in the dictionary or the thesaurus so, therefore, it is probably one of my unique coinages. You’re welcome!

My dorm room was a cavernous affair and the desk was borrowed from my deceased Uncle Joe’s estate and the reason I liked that desk was because it had a really shining top and remnants of some of Uncle Joe’s old cheese sandwiches in one of the drawers. I never ate the rotten old things but I was glad they were there because the smell of them reminded me of the good old days when Uncle Joe would hold me on his lap and feed me peanut brittle while fondling my leg in a most appropriate manner and admonishing me to keep the whole scene under the most possible discretion.

Most of my hair fell out in the first year I was at University because, exactly in communion with my Father’s admonitions, excessive masturbation did, in fact, and at last, prove to be the undoing of most of my follicles. If I could have had a roommate during that period of time my pate would still be replete with the lion’s mane that once dominated it. Pity!

My pen, as one can tell by close examination, was a quill and was quite good for writing at a relaxed pace, offering ample time to collect thoughts between times of actually writing and refilling the quill with the thick stinking black ink. This particular writing instrument was also handy for digging the ear wax out of my left ear … I loved to dig ear wax and taste the pungency of it as I concentrated on my studies and my theses. All this, of course, happened years before I developed my penchant for nose picking. But that is yet another story!

I kept a deck of cards on the desk in the unlikely event that some winsome wench would happen by and I could entertain her … prior to the inevitable seduction … with a few well-thought-out prestodigitational (magic) illusions. And, because I was very handsome for a middle-aged college student, I was fortunate enough to have the company of several co-eds from adjoining segregated dorms even though most of them were Reubens-types, plump as prunes and blushing with the most acrimonious layers of externally-applied cosmetic paint and perfumes the like of which were appropriate for any self-respecting embalmer in the Funerary business.

The administrators at the university were constantly nagging at me because I had a habit of engraving graffiti in my desktop with the pen when I was in a deep reverie and the graffiti was rarely ever of any sort of respectable kind but tended, I fear, toward the obscene mundanities of a mind reeling with an overload of unused testosterone. It didn’t help much that I had only one garment in my wardrobe the entire duration of my days at the institution … a rather plain and unadorned red and black robe of an affair that I wore everywhere — even to the burial of my Aunt Agatha’s pet ocelot — even to my Uncle Charlie’s cremation. Once I graduated and had gotten my first internship at the local papyrus factory, I was fortunate enough to amass the funds necessary to expand my wardrobe and that is the time when I became infatuated with and collected an impressive array of simple loin cloths that I wore everywhere except to church.

I discovered — owing to the advice of a really much-too-friendly priest — that the reason the simple loincloth was inappropriate for church was because when wearing it I appeared naked as to make one blush with shame and my exposed buttocks were much too distracting to the congregation. He did tell me, however, that this particular form of the garment was absolutely acceptable for periods of the ritual of private confession. Being a sinner of some rather hefty shyness, I did not do many rituals of confession either private or in concert with church doctrinal practices. Am I bad?

I kept a roll of double-wide toilet tissue on my desk at all times in the event that I wanted to blow my nose instead of picking it and because I was experimenting with what I thought — at the time — might have been a profitable new intention …. toilet paper that could be used on both sides thus saving money for anyone who purchased it — but I could never get the idea through the patent office. It was almost as big a disappointment as the time the Patent Office refused my other invention, “The Vaginal Cell Phone.”

When I needed a little distraction or diversion, I also used a sheet or two of the double-wide toilet paper to make paper airplanes with — although they were deucedly tough to form and fold and once I threw them into the air they came apart on their own and floated listlessly to the floor. When I felt like taking a walk on the commons and shocking the ladies, I would stuff wads of the toilet paper into my nose and leave about a foot of it protruding outwardly — very decoratively — and I got a lot of stares in this fashion but no propositions from the ladies of any noteworthiness. I have to reconstruct that last thought a little bit — I did get a couple of approaches from some of the Reubenesque ponderosities that I described earlier in this dissertation.

I finally graduated from university “Provocateur Cum Laude” sallied forth into the world of commerce, obtained a fine position with a noted papyrus manufacturer, became the fair-haired hairless boy of the front office, married the bosses daughter, had a houseful of kids, inherited the papyrus factory at the demise of my Father-in-Law, and went on to amass my first Billion Dollars. The reason I became the “Fair Haired” boy of the front office is because by that time I had bought myself a wig made from the rare but beautiful ass hairs of mountain oxen and was quite dashing if I do say so myself.

 

 

Summertime!!!

I am going to be one happy camper when this damned winter is finally over and in the shitter!

This has been the coldest, the hardest, the most miserable damned winter I have lived for many years and I can tell you that at 79 years old I have lived a lot of years!

Just a couple of months to go and then the Spring will spring and I will be looking for the little yellow flowers in my yard and down on the banks of the river.

This winter has pretty much kept me indoors and that sucks because I do like to get out and walk and jog and power-walk and go to the gym and workout and all that kind of stuff.

The one good thing is that so far I have been spared catching the flu and this has been a most unusually dangerous flu season.

When I was a lot younger I could barely wait for Spring and Summer to come so I could go fuck around with my friends. But these days I have so few friends I cannot even remember who some of them are … people do not mix like they used to a long time ago.

I have no specific goals for the Summer this year except to try to live through as much of it as I can.

I do want to spend more time outside this summer and I want to do a lot of working out to try and stabilize my weight again because the winter confinement has been brutal to the bathroom scales.

I will push myself physically as well as I can but I will also have to remember that I am fighting an inguinal hernia as well as a hiatl hernia and so some care is going to have to be exercised.

I hope to find more opportunities to be of help to people who actually need and deserve to be helped — I have no specific ideas along that line but I am sure something will come to me.

Ikaria

THE IKARIAN DIET is supposed to be good for you and is said to help people live to a ripe old age but I am not given to taking this kind of information lightly — but I am always willing to try something different for myself — so I am going to give the Ikarian diet a try for a couple of days and see what happens.

Where is Ikaria?

Ikaria is a Grecian island and the picture above is taken from Wikipedia and is listed there as being in the Public Domain.

But this post is not about Ikaria per se but is about the diet the islanders eat and a diet that I am going to try out for a day or so or a week or two and see what happens.

Breakfast will consist of Greek-style yogurt, whole-grain bread, raw unfiltered honey, and coffee.

Lunch will consist of Beans, potatoes, a variety of steamed garden vegetables with an emphasis on greens (spinach, kale and the like.) all served with a liberal splash of virgin olive oil.

Dinner is not yet settled in my mind but I am sure that for the time being it will be my normal unhealthy American-style “Meat and Potatoes” fare until I get my feet further into the waters of the Mediterranean experience that I am trying out here.

My idea for trying the two meals above is that a little healthy food is better than none at all.

 

Country-Style Pork Chop Dinner For Two

Today’s fare is designed for two people but, with some effort, can be extended to an entire family if desired.

For dinner this evening we present an old favorite from days gone by, “Pork Chops with Biscuits and Cream Gravy, Kale and Fried Apples.

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For our dinner this evening we chose bone-in pork chops that were approximately 3/4-inch thick and these were dusted with flour and pan-fried on the stove top for about 3 to 5 minutes per side depending on the amount of doneness you desire. The meat should register a minimum of 145-degrees Fahrenheit on the meat thermometer before being consumed. I have fried mine to as high as 165-degrees sometimes and that makes them pretty much well done.

Prior to putting the chops into the skillet for cooking, I like to pierce the meat through and through several times with one of those tenderizing devices that you can find at most kitchen specialty stores. They are a plastic thing that you hold in one hand and depress a series of prongs or blades into and through the meat fibers as many times as you choose to break up some of the fibers in the meat and make it as tender as the eye of a bird.

While the chops are frying I like to dust them with any good brand of pre-prepared “Rub” or “Essence” that can be sprinkled gently and somewhat generously from high above the cooking meat so as to avoid concentrating too much seasoning in a single spot on the chops.

The mixture I have put together for sprinkling on my cooking chops follows:

All together now … mix the following:

You will have a lot of this left over for future cooking I can tell you that much — do not use all of it on a single cooking venture — maybe as much as 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon per chop total:

The seasoning:

2-1/2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons Kosher sea salt
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon black ground pepper
1 tablespoon dried oregano powder
1 tablespoon powdered thyme

When the chops have finished cooking they should be white inside or with the least possible amount of faded really-hard-to-discern pink.

You will want to fry these in olive oil or — if you are feeling adventurous, pure peanut oil.

Fried apples are Cortlands, or Granny Smiths, peeled and cored and sliced and fried in a medium heat skillet until soft, tender and translucent — like the filling of a good pie. These are fried in just enough oil (Maybe two tablespoons to the pan) to keep them moist and once they are done to your satisfaction (Exceptionally fork tender, you might want to remove them to a serving bowl and add a decent amount of cinnamon and brown sugar to taste.

Biscuits:

biscuits-472409_1280

The biscuits begin with mixing the following ingredients in a decent-sized mixing bowl: I am directing you to the classic Betty Crocker biscuit recipe and I must tell you now, as a requirement of the law, that I am not being compensated in any manner for mentioning the brand name of the biscuits. I do not get paid for blogging. Here is my disclaimer for those who are interested: — ( DISCLAIMER).

Here is the biscuit recipe that I most often use at my own home: — ( BISCUIT RECIPE).

Now to the gravy!

We are making a simple old-fashioned “Milk-Based” gravy utilizing the drippings from frying the pork chops.

You will need:

1/4 cup of the pan drippings from the fried chops
1/4 cup well-sifted all-purpose white flour
2 cups of milk that has stood until it is room temperature
Salt and pepper to your individual preference.

In a pan or skillet over medium-high heat on a cooking surface add the flour to the pan drippings from the meat and stir it until it is of a smooth consistency throughout. This should only take a few minutes with a whisk or a spoon of some kind. (I use bamboo utensils for this kind of thing myself.).

Then when the flour and drippings are mixed smoothly and are just beginning to take on a light brownish color, add the milk slowly and keep stirring until the whole mixture attains unto the thickness that you desire. It is important to keep stirring at this point in order to prevent the gravy from lumping up on you.

When the gravy is done add salt and pepper to taste if you have not already done so but I do not recommend seasoning it twice so take care.

At the time of serving you may ladle the gravy over both the pork chop on the plate and the plated biscuit or you may choose one item over the other. If you like your biscuits with butter and jam, then I would not suggest adding gravy to them but to the meat only. It is your choice entirely.

The kale is bought fresh, thoroughly washed and either steamed in a steamer until wilted but still very green or you can fry it in some oil on top of the stove until it wilts. Again it is a matter of your personal choice. I prefer steaming mine for about 5 minutes. These can be served with a touch of balsamic vinegar if desired.

I enjoyed this dinner with my friend this very evening!

 

 

Abril Text

Here is what the claim about “Abril Text: font is:

“Abril is a credible, contemporary interpretation of a classic newsface and was conceived for intensive editorial use in newspapers, magazines, and digital media. The Display styles have a strong presence and a newsy feel on the page while the Text weights were engineered from scratch to achieve the right color, texture, and overall width for comfortable, continuous reading in printed and digital environments.”

Now I have installed Abril Text on this site and I need to know from all you wonderful readers out there if you think the font measures up to the claims made for it.

Thank you in advance.

wrong emphasis

I read somewhere where a big American bank and at least three different car rental companies have terminated all business dealings with the National Rifle Association (NRA) as part of the ongoing furor over the number and tragedy of shootings that have been going on in America because of what some people see as a lack of appropriate controls on guns.

I am not sure the NRA can be blamed. I do not believe it is the NRA members who are running around with assault weapons gunning citizens down in cold blood.

I do not believe the NRA is responsible for the gun madness in this country because simple “Ownership” of weapons is not the reason the gun madness persists. The reason for the gun madness is not found in the fact that people own guns … it is found in the fact that some people who have managed to get their hands on guns are batshit crazy!

I don’t think the answer to gun violence lies in restricting the number of guns sold but I think it depends on enforcing the gun laws we already have on the books.

If the following wasn’t so tragic I think it might even be funny. Read the article and then try to imagine what it would be like if some “Armed” teacher did the same thing and then tell me you believe that it won’t happen someday:

https://reason.com/blog/2018/02/22/parkland-stoneman-school-resource-office